A 26-year-old Gorham man is suing the owner of Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, alleging that the older man drugged and sexually assaulted him multiple times, according to court documents.
The lawsuit was filed Jan. 20 in Cumberland County Superior Court by Kennebunk attorney Karen Wolfram on behalf of the Gorham man. It claims that Andrew S. Cusack, 52, of Scarborough befriended the man more than a decade ago, supported him financially and emotionally and then took advantage of him sexually when he became an adult.
The lawsuit, which seeks at least $500,000 in damages, accuses Cusack of assault and battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Wolfram also moved to target Cusack’s assets, including vehicles and property owned in Portage Lake and Scarborough, as well as Cusack’s stake in the Speedway, of which he is the sole owner.
Wolfram acknowledged the lawsuit in an email message, but did not respond to an email inquiring into why her client chose to pursue a civil case rather than take his allegations to police. Sexual assault law in Maine allows victims to report the crime within three years or six years, depending on the alleged criminal conduct.
The Portland Press Herald does not identify victims of alleged sexual crimes without their consent.
Cusack, who was served with the lawsuit Friday, did not respond to two phone calls Friday and Monday, but a spokeswoman hired by Cusack, Felicia Knight, released a statement from his attorney denying the allegations.
Cusack’s attorney, David Perkins, said that the plaintiff stole money and credit cards from Cusack, and that the lawsuit is a diversion.
A message to Wolfram was not immediately returned seeking clarification on Cusack’s theft allegations. The plaintiff does not have a theft charge on his criminal record, according to Maine public records.
The public court filings are not the first instance in which Cusack’s relationship with young men has been called into question.
In 2013, Sean Caisse, a race driver whom Cusack had befriended and mentored as a teenager, told Scarborough police that Cusack had sexually assaulted him, according to an attorney involved in a pending criminal case against Caisse.
Police determined the conduct Caisse described was not criminal, and no charges were filed against Cusack.
But Caisse and an ex-girlfriend have been charged with assaulting Cusack, robbing him at his home and torturing him for hours. Caisse is awaiting trial on the felony charges in Cumberland County Unified Court.
In the lawsuit filed in January, an affidavit says Cusack met the plaintiff, then age 12, through the plaintiff’s father about 14 years ago. Cusack became a mentor and father figure to the boy at a time when the plaintiff’s parents were divorcing. Cusack attended the plaintiff’s sports games when his biological father was uninterested, and gave the boy money and other gifts, the affidavit says.
When the plaintiff became a teenager, Cusack allegedly began grooming the boy, playing the role of “cool uncle” and allowing him to have underage drinking parties at Cusack’s home while concealing the illegal activity from his parents.
“Over the course of our relationship, Mr. Cusack would give me hundreds of dollars for just being ‘a good boy’ and because ‘you don’t need to be working in high school,’ ” the plaintiff said in the affidavit.
When the plaintiff graduated from high school, Cusack threw him a party and gave him Cusack’s 1995 Jeep Wrangler as a gift, according to the documents.
But the plaintiff also alleged that Cusack forbade him from interacting with his peers, especially women, and that the plaintiff was one of multiple young men with whom Cusack maintained a relationship.
“If it seemed to him that I was showing others more attention (than) him, he would get angry and lose control, yelling and screaming at me that, ‘you are on my time and its uncle/nephew time,’ ” the plaintiff said in the affidavit.
The alleged sexual assaults began as early as September 2012, when Cusack invited the plaintiff to Cusack’s camp in Portage Lake to go snowmobiling, according to court documents.
Cusack became irritated at the plaintiff, and that night, Cusack allegedly gave the plaintiff a “night cap” vodka drink and insisted that he watch a movie with him in Cusack’s bed.
The plaintiff said in court paperwork that he blacked out after consuming the drink, and awoke the next morning to discover that both he and Cusack were naked in bed, and that he had no memory of what had occurred or why his clothes were removed. Cusack has access to prescription medication, the lawsuit alleges, including Ambien, a popular and powerful sleeping aid.
“I was in a state of alarm, completely confused and trying to remember how I fell asleep fully clothed and woke up naked,” the plaintiff wrote in the affidavit, going on to say that he then felt a sharp pain in his left shoulder and elbow, and noticed he had trouble moving his left leg. He had three gashes across his back, according to the court papers. Cusack at first said he did not know how the plaintiff sustained the injuries, but later said the plaintiff had fallen down the basement stairs. The plaintiff found a pool of blood and a broken mop on the basement floor.
“I was so confused and frightened I sent a picture of the injuries (of) my back to a friend telling him I was ‘afraid to know what happened,’ ” the plaintiff said in the affidavit.
In another incident, the plaintiff alleges that Cusack drugged him in a Texas hotel room during a trip with the plaintiff’s family, and that Cusack held him against his will when the plaintiff tried to escape the next day.
The plaintiff said in an affidavit that the abuse and mental stress triggered severe depression that debilitated him for nearly two years, from 2013 to 2015, and caused him to attempt suicide twice.
“I truly believe Mr. Cusack loved and cared about me as a nephew as he claimed,” the plaintiff wrote in the affidavit. “But he was using me, abusing me, and exploiting me mentally, emotionally, physically and sexually for his own selfish, wrongful and/or unlawful purposes.”
Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at: